More and more people are taking to cycling than ever before. It is an easy way to get around a city and town without being stuck in heavy traffic. Because the number of cyclists on the road has increased, the number of accidents involving motorists and cyclists is also on the rise. Statistics show that thousands of bike riders get injured in road traffic accidents in the UK with more than a hundred cyclists killed annually.
If you were injured in a bike accident and you would like to know more about UK law where cyclists are concerned, whether you could make a claim for compensation against a third party, what sort of evidence you would need to prove liability, and how seeking legal advice from a solicitor who handles this type of claim can help, please read on.
- Could I Claim Compensation for Injuries sustained in a Cycling Accident?
- Can I Claim if a Driver is Not Insured or Traceable?
- Can I Claim Compensation if the Incident Was Caused on Purpose?
- If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet, Can I Claim Compensation?
- Can I Claim Compensation if My Cycle Did Not Have Lights?
- Can I Claim Compensation if I Was Not Wearing Hi-Vis Clothing?
- Could I Include the Cost of Rehabilitation and Treatment in a Cycle Accident Claim?
- How Do I Begin a Bike Accident Claim?
- Is There a Time Limit to Making A Cycling Accident Claim?
- How Much Could I Claim For A Cycling Accident?
- What are the Benefits of Having a Solicitor Represent Me in a Bike Accident Claim?
- Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Take on My Bike Accident Claim?
- Links to Useful Websites
For your bike accident claim to be valid, you must be able to prove that another road user was driving their vehicle below what could be deemed as an ‘acceptable’ standard typically associated with motorists who show consideration when on public roads. It is worth noting that should this be the case, the motorist concerned would not have to be convicted of any kind of criminal offence although if they were, it helps prove their liability for any injuries you suffered in the bike accident.
Should you have been involved in a cycle accident which led to you being injured because the road surface was badly maintained to an acceptable and legal standard, you should report the incident to the Police as soon as you are able to.
If you have any concerns regarding a bike accident claim and who could be held liable for any damage and injuries you sustained, the best thing to do is contact a solicitor who would assess whether your claim for compensation would be valid or not. Should the solicitor establish your claim against a third party is valid, they would typically agree to take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
For Experts On Bike Law And Bike Accident Lawyers
Legal Helpline is a legal advice website that also has a panel of motorcycle law lawyers on its panel also they are open 24 hours 7 days a week. Visit LegalHelpline.co.uk Very useful for motorcycle accident frequently asked questions.
Advice.co.uk offer free advice on cycling accidents and bike injury law for more information visit Advice.co.uk they also have a live chat option were they can provide cycling law advice after a accident.
Slater Gordon is also a large a large law firm in the UK that offers legal services for bike law for more information visit www.slatergordon.co.uk and get the advice you need.
Irwin Michelle is also a very large law firm in the UK also has offices in many different cities. Irwin Mitchell have also won many bike accident claims. From looking at the news they have also won serious injury cases.
Many cyclists who end up being injured on the road often ask the following question:
- What would happened if the driver of a vehicle caused the bike accident but did not hold valid insurance or they could not be traced following the incident?
The answer is that you may be able to claim compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau – the MIB. The Bureau operates a scheme for people who are injured in a road traffic accident where the responsible party cannot be immediately identified, or where they do not have valid insurance. The MIB will try to confirm a responsible party’s identity, they would assess whether you could be compensated for the bike accident injuries you suffered and also who could be liable to pay any money you could be awarded.
If the Bureau cannot trace the responsible party, you may be entitled to receive compensation through the MIB scheme. It is worth noting that the funds held by the MIB are made up of a percentage of all annual insurance premiums that motorists pay for their policies.
Again, if you were injured in a bike accident and cannot trace the party responsible, or you need help and advice on how to pursue a claim for compensation, a solicitor can provide valuable legal assistance when it comes to making claims through the MIB scheme.
Cyclists are a lot more vulnerable to being seriously injured in a road traffic accident and typically learn to predict any manoeuvres other road users may take. However, no amount of caution on the part of a cyclist offers total protection where reckless driving is concerned, or where road surfaces are badly maintained. Some of the more commonly reported collisions between cyclists and other road users include the following manoeuvres that motorist often make:
- A failure to see a cyclist when pulling across a road or junction
- When driving at excessive speeds
- When a motorist does not leave enough ‘safe’ distance when manoeuvring or overtaking
The greatest risk to cyclists involves situations where larger vehicles enter or exit junctions due to blind spots. Cyclists often sustain injuries because the design of a road junction may be poor, or where the road surface is poorly maintained. Should this be the case, you could seek compensation by taking legal action out against the highway or local authorities.
If you are involved in a bike accident you believe was caused on purpose, there are steps you should take which include the following:
- Report the incident to the authorities
- Exchange basic information with the other parties involved in the incident
Cyclists have the same ‘rights’ as all other road users when it comes to being involved in an accident on a public highway. As such, you have the right to seek compensation if any of the following applies:
- You sustained injuries due to the negligence of another road user
- You suffered injuries in a bike accident due to the poor maintenance of a road surface
- You were injured due to defective equipment
Some motorists and other road users can be hostile towards cyclists and should they have deliberately done something to cause a bike accident which includes road rage. Should this be the case and it can be proved that you were the victim of a bike accident due to road rage, you may be able to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) with more information being found on the CICA website.
The law in England, Scotland and Wales does not require cyclist wear helmets although the Highway Code does encourage cyclists to do so when on public roads. It is also worth noting that because you were not wearing a helmet when you were injured in a bike accident, does not mean you would not be able to make a claim for compensation and although there is no ‘law’ that states you may be awarded less, the fact you were not wearing head protection could be factored into the amount of compensation you are awarded in a successful bike accident claim.
If you are unsure on how to proceed with a claim and you think that another driver or a poorly maintained road surface is to blame for the cycle accident which left you suffering from injuries, you should get in touch with a solicitor as soon as you can so they can assess who could be held liable.
The law in the UK requires bikes to have lights both on the front and the back. Front lights must be white while back lights must be red and cyclists are required by law to turn them on when on a public highway in the dark and bikes must have red reflectors fitted to them. Another legal requirement is as follows:
- If your bike was manufactured after 1st October 1985, the law requires that amber pedal reflectors have been fitted
If you suffered an injury in a bike accident and your bike was not fitted with lights, or you were riding your bike in the dark on a public road without having turned your lights on, this could be factored into the amount of bike accident compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim. Because cyclists are more vulnerable road users, it is essential that as much as possible is done to make other motorists aware of their presence whether in town or in more rural areas of the country.
It is not a legal requirement for cyclists to wear hi-visibility clothing although it is always advisable to do so for safety’s sake. With this said, if you are injured in a road traffic accident and you were not wearing hi-vis clothing, a court may take this into consideration although if your cycle is fitted with the correct lights and reflectors, it may not affect the level of bike accident compensation you could receive in a successful claim against a responsible party if you were not wearing hi-visibility clothing at the time of the accident.
If the bike accident injuries you sustained were serious, it could mean that you need ongoing treatment and rehabilitation especially if the injury was to your head or spine. Should this be the case, you could be entitled to include the cost of rehabilitation in your claim. You may also be able to claim the cost of the following:
- Physiotherapy and other required therapies
- Home care should your injuries leave you unable to carry out normal daily tasks with the aid of someone else
A solicitor acting on your behalf would ensure you are seen by an independent medical professional who would produce a report on the extent of your injuries, how your life has been affected and your prognosis. This medical report is an essential part of any personal injury claim because it would be used to base the level of compensation you may be awarded in General Damages.
If you were injured in a bike accident and you believe the incident was caused through the negligence of a third party whether they can be identified or not, there are specific things you must do if you intend of making a claim for compensation whether through the civil courts, the CICA scheme, or the MIB scheme. These are as follows:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Make sure you report the incident to the Police and get an incident reference number
- Make sure you get a medical report detailing your injuries
- Collect witness statements together with contact details if your injuries allow
- Take photos of your injuries and the damage to your property
- Take photos of where the bike accident occurred
The more in the way of evidence you can provide, the stronger a claim would be and the more chance there would be of being awarded compensation for injuries sustained in a bike accident. If you need to know what other evidence you should collect to strengthen a claim for compensation against a third party, a solicitor can provide essential information once they have assessed the circumstances that led to you being involved in a cycling accident.
The time limit to claiming compensation for a bike accident is 3 years from the date the incident occurred. However, if you were a minor at the time – under the age of 18 – you have until your twenty-first birthday to file for compensation.
If you are making a bike accident claim on behalf of a loved one who does not have the mental capacity to do so themselves, there is no time limit to do so.
Should you be claiming compensation for a loved one who was involved in a fatal bike accident, the time limit of 3 years would begin from the date they passed away or on receiving post-mortem results.
However, if you intend on making a CICA claim, the time limit is shorter. You have two years from the date you were injured through no fault of your own to seek compensation through the Scheme. With this said, the authority does have discretionary powers and in exceptional circumstances will extend the time limit.
It is impossible to know how much you could claim in compensation for a cycling accident because all cases are treated on their own merit whether through the Civil Courts, CICA Scheme, or the MIB Scheme. The amount you could be awarded would depend on the following too:
- The severity and extent of your injuries
- How the quality of your future life has been impacted
- Whether you would be able to work again
- Whether you require full time care and support
- The cost of future therapies, treatments, and rehabilitation (not covered by NHS)
- The cost of home or vehicle adaptations
- The loss of income and projected income
- The cost of damage to property – cycle, helmet, and other equipment
You would need to provide proof of expenditure for any Special Damages you include in your bike accident claim for compensation. This should be receipts and other documentation relating to your losses.
Because bike accidents involving other road users can be complex, it is far wiser to seek advice from a solicitor before going forward with a claim. The same applies if you suffered injuries while cycling due to poorly maintained roads. A solicitor has the necessary experience in dealing with the following:
- Compensation claims filed through the Civil Courts
- Claims made through the Motorist Insurers Bureau (MIB)
- Claims made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
Other benefits that a solicitor would offer you when making a bike accident claim would include the following:
- They would establish who could be held accountable for the injury you suffered
- They would work hard to get the responsible party to accept liability
- They would ensure you have sufficient proof to support a claim
- If your claim takes longer to settle due to the severity of injuries sustained, a solicitor would negotiate ‘interim’ payments for you to ensure you are not put under any financial hardship until a final settlement is reached
These are just some of the benefits of having legal representation when making a bike accident claim. Another being that once a solicitor is satisfied that your case is strong, they would typically offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
As previously touched upon, if your case is strong, a solicitor would offer you No Win No Fee terms when acting on your behalf. You would need to show the solicitor that a third party acted negligently which resulted in a bike accident that left you suffering from an injury. You would also need to provide as much evidence as you can to support your claim. Once a solicitor finds that your case is strong, they would begin acting for you without requesting that you pay them an upfront fee.
No Win No Fee agreements are legal contracts that set out the amount of money you would pay a solicitor but only if your bike accident claim is successful. The amount known as a ‘success fee’ is taken from the compensation you are awarded. However, if your case is lost and you do not receive any compensation, the success fee would not be payable.
For more information about the Highway Code that applies to cyclists, please follow the link provided below:
If you were injured in a cycling accident and would like more information about contributory negligence, please click on the link below:
For more information on how hi-vis clothing can help you stay safe on the roads, please follow the link provided below: